Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

Summary: Even though Nokia rules the smartphone world, they have very little market share in the US. T-Mobile has a couple of fairly new smartphones priced to sell, but can this increase Nokia's market and mind share here in the US?

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Nokia leads the world in smartphone market share and even with all the new devices running slick operating system they continue to maintain quite a lead over all the others. However, they have a very small share of the US market that I think is due in large part to limited availability from carriers. The Nokia E71x is available from AT&T, but AT&T took their customizations too far and severely hampered what could be a great Eseries device. Thankfully, T-Mobile is stepping up to the plate and currently has the Nokia 5230 Nuron available with the Nokia E73 Mode coming soon and both are priced at just $69.99. Although not sold directly from T-Mobile you can also find the high end Nokia N900 with T-Mobile USA support for around $460 with no contract necessary.

While the S60 operating system used in the Nuron and E73 Mode may not be as slick as Google Android or iPhone devices, there are some very compelling reasons to use these devices and at $70 a purchase decision is almost a no brainer. With each of these two devices you get FREE Ovi Maps voice-guided navigation support with maps around the world. I actually used a Nokia N97 mini loaded with maps of Spain, Italy, and France last week on my vacation and was able to walk around foreign cities with no SIM card in the device and no data connection necessary since I preloaded these maps for free before my trip. Support for Ovi Maps itself can be used to justify the $70 purchase price of one of these smartphones.

In addition to Ovi Maps support, the following are some other reasons you may want to consider one of these two Nokia smarphtones:

  • Amazing RF reception and voice call quality
  • Solid Bluetooth driver support
  • Voice dialing integration
  • Support for T-Mobile's high speed 7.2 Mbps data network
  • Support for carrier billing through the Ovi Store

When I compare different devices with my same T-Mobile SIM card the Nokia smartphones ALWAYS show stronger RF reception. I often hear people complain about Bluetooth A2DP performance, but I have personally heard flawless podcast and music streaming with Nokia smartphones and Nokia Bluetooth headsets so with the right devices you can have a solid experience.

My wife used a T-Mobile Dash (actually 3 of them) over the past few years and took my Nokia E71 a few months ago and loves the device. I plan to buy the E73 Mode when it is launched next week because it has all of these benefits I mentioned previously with the addition of UMA call support, visual voicemail, active noise cancellation, solid 5 megapixel camera, large 1500 mAh battery, and more. The Nokia Nuron is a more basic smartphone, but it does have a 3.2 inch touchscreen with S60 5th Edition, Ovi Maps, and 3G wireless data support.

Do you think T-Mobile's adoption and selling of subsidized Nokia smartphones will increase Nokia's share (market and mind) in the US? I know T-Mobile is the smallest of the four major carriers, but they also seem to take the most hands-off approach with their devices and keep them in the configuration intended by the manufacturer.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Nokia, Smartphones

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18 comments
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  • Another compelling reason for Symbian: Great battery life

    Symbian phones (that's Nokia's OS) have much better battery life. The OS is the least bloated of smartphone OSes, so it doesn't waste processor power.

    The one to watch will be the Nokia N8, which runs the new Symbian^3 operating system.
    Vbitrate
    • RE: Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

      @Market Analy - I don't think that is really that true - it really depends on how much you use the phone, as in my experience the battery life is fairly similar. However I find that I tend to use my Android much more as it?s a lot more fun and there is a great deal more functionality and that of course means I charge slightly more too.
      jaamgans
  • RE: Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

    I am pretty happy with my Nokia E71. Glad to see someone covering Nokia phones in the U.S. Nokia has MANY features to draw people to it, but it seems to me that getting Flash working ASAP would be a significant benefit. To the author, how happy are you with T-mobile connectivity?
    jkohut
  • Nokia has gone downhill over the last couple of years...

    I remember my first phone on T-Mobile - a Nokia 5190 - and how extremely bulletproof it was. Water, 10 foot drops, even tossing it out of a moving car couldn't hurt it. Fast-forward 9 years, and it's like Nokia forgot how to build a phone - the last two Nokias I had broke from daily usage.

    Also, T-Mobile has really gone downhill over the last couple of years. Calls dropping and calls not connecting seem to happen more and more these days for me, no matter what I'm using to make calls with.
    nix_hed
    • Does Nokia still make their phones in Finland?

      Or did they outsource that to China as well...
      ubiquitous one
  • Solid OS, nothing fancy, and that's just what I want

    I'm using a Nokia E72 (which is what the E73 Mode appears to be identical to) on the AT&T network. I had to wait for a firmware update for the phone to be just about perfect, but now it is. Symbian is old, but it's solid and it just works. The E73 Mode should bring people back to Nokia smartphones. <br><br>Nokia has me excited about its other new offerings. The N8 has promise, but what really intrigues me is the N900 and its successors. I almost bought a N900, but decided against it, as it only does 3G on the TMobile network. I can't wait to play with a Nokia with more memory capacity. Go, Nokia, go!
    akritchie
    • RE: Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

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  • T-Mobile CAN Improve Nokia Mind Share, as long as...

    Nokia has overnight become the Palm of the 2020's. They have great products and a well established platform, but are getting MURDERED by the iPhone and Android-based phones. Like Windows Mobile, their OS simply can't compete. The best thing Nokia can do is beat HTC to the punch, by offering a "Universal Band" line of phones that run Android, can be activated on any carrier and are designed for and bundled with unique sets of vertical / diagonal market apps. To reduce the upfront cost to the consumer, the phones should be offered direct from Nokia on a cash or lease-to-own basis, with resellers earning an affiliate commission on sales. By opening this program up to web affiliates, Nokia could dramatically increase the visibility of their products for little / no cost!
    John Westra
  • ?????

    Why do people keep saying that Nokia is getting murdered by Apple and Android? The iPhone has been out since 2007 and last I checked Nokia was still number one by a healthy margin. Actually Samsung and LG are the two companies that moved up to second and third respectively. Motorola and Sony-Ericsson are the two that lost market share. Just because people in the US are not exposed to Nokia phones they think Apple and Android are doing BETTER than Nokia. Check the numbers GLOBALLY, because last I checked the world is not confined between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.... Without counting feature phones, Nokia still sold more phones than Apple and Android COMBINED. 81 millions to 32 millions.
    I for one is glad T-Mo is showing Nokia some love, I hope they'll carry the N8 and price it between $130 and $170 w/ 2 yr contract.
    Teemug38
    • RE: Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

      @Teemug38
      well said!
      faiz553
      • RE: Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

        @faiz553
        Thanks!
        Teemug38
  • RE: Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

    I have been using Nokia phones on AT&T since 2000. I started with the 5150 and 5 phones later am now using a unlocked N97, and knew where to find the customization options on each phone within a minute or so every time, my co-workers wish they could find those options so easily on their non-Nokia phones. They are solid phones that hold up to all kinds of abuse and it's great to hear that an American carrier is putting Nokia as a supported phone. Nokia must be doing something right or 30%+ of worldwide cell phone users wouldn't being using Nokia. Time for Nokia to thump Apple and the feature limited iPhone and show Americans what the rest of the world knows about quality easily usable phones.
    techrepublic@...
  • RE: Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

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  • RE: Can T-Mobile improve Nokia mind share in the US?

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